Comment of the Week
02/25/09 - CafeHayek by Russel Roberts
Comment by Methinks
The problem with high income people is that they can make plans and act on them. They are better than most people at finding loopholes in government. In my opinion, if they have to, they will buy the government. That is what things were like in the 1960's.
[edited] I'm in the target group, the top 2% of taxpayers to do the paying for the trillion dollar spending. I won't do it.
I own my business and have the option to work as much or as little as I like. At some tax rate, the marginal dollar won't be worth earning. I'll fire some employees, scale down the business or retire altogether and stick my money in tax advantaged municipal bonds, and do all the traveling and relaxing I can't do now. The tax advantage of muni bonds will NEVER go away because municipalities will scream bloody murder.
If I'm not ready to retire and the tax rate gets too high, I may just immigrate to another country because it's very easy for me to get almost instant citizenship. I respond to incentives and I'm not incentivized by enslavement and neither is anyone I know.
The specialness of this country is the lack of totalitarian regime and individual liberty. Once that's gone, this country is no longer special. You can call me evil or "not doing my part" because I'm not willing to work myself into the grave for your family instead of mine, but the reality is that unless you plan to start a Gulag, you can't make me.
Why should I be expected to work and risk more than you to provide you with the lifestyle to which you have become accustomed?
Yes, it's sustainable to raise taxes on the most productive. However, it's not sustainable at a high standard of living. It's sustainable only at ever decreasing standards of living. France and Germany are good examples.
There's a difference between the natural altruism that occurs between family members and confiscation by the state. I feel great when I donate to charity. I feel really crappy when I write the check to the IRS. Maybe I should figure out how to receive one instead. Seems a lot less time consuming.